What to expect
Apprentices can expect approximately 350 – 450 direct contact hours and educational content over an eight month period (on average, 8 – 10 direct contact hours a week) with a person in a designated mentorship role. Some operations have multiple people offering mentorship.
Apprentices working an April to November season will attend an in-person group orientation in late March or early April. Attendance at this event is mandatory.
Each apprentice receives a copy of the NAP Orientation Guide which includes an example of skills checklists and a daily work log for recording activity. The orientation guide also includes a schedule of the full eight months of the apprenticeship to help the apprentice track important program dates and events; history of the program and Quivira; and other documents that may be useful during an apprenticeship.
Apprentices schedule an initial assessment with their mentor upon arrival at their mentor site, followed by a minimum of two additional evaluations in the middle and at the end of the season. During each check-in, apprentices and mentors review skills checklists, which are tailored to each apprenticeship, and discuss other topics or concerns as needed.
Travel and Ranch/Farm Visits
During their eight-month apprenticeship, apprentices are given access to a travel fund to cover transportation to NAP Orientation and the annual Regenerate Conference. With any remaining funds apprentices are strongly encouraged to visit other farms and ranches, including other NAP mentor operations, if possible. The purpose of these visits is to expose the apprentice to different perspectives and practices.
All participants will attend a series of monthly supplemental training calls offered via video conference. Monthly calls will cover topics ranging from soil health to drought management to communication skills.
Apprentices attend the annual Quivira Conference in Albuquerque in November, where they represent the program and assist with a variety of tasks and events including the New Agrarian Career Connection. Graduation from the program takes place and is celebrated at the conference.
Each apprentice submits two reports to NAP: 1) a one-page personal introduction, due the second week of their apprenticeship, and 2) a three-page final report and a copy of the completed skills checklist, due November 1.
Apprentice education is divided into four categories: experiential learning, online sessions, visits to other operations and the annual Quivira Conference.
Apprentices spend more than 80 percent of their scheduled time on the host operation working alongside their mentor or, as their learning progresses, engaging in more independent activities. Apprentices take part in all activities necessary for the daily operation of the ranch or farm. Basic, repetitive tasks are balanced with new and increasingly challenging work to enable the development of higher-level skills and to further apprentice learning.
The New Agrarian Program (NAP) partners with topical experts to offer a series of monthly video calls designed to expose apprentices to topics ranging from soil health and land management to biological monitoring, financial management and business planning. Upon completion of the NAP apprenticeship program graduates will be given priority in applying for Holistic Management International training program scholarships.
Apprentices are encouraged to visit other ranches and farms near their mentor site for the opportunity to see different models and management styles. Apprentices may identify operations they are interested in visiting (typically NAP host operations, but not necessarily) and schedule one to two days visits.
The Quivira Conference
In November, apprentices visit Albuquerque to attend the Regenerate Conference. At the conference, apprentices will attend a wide variety of workshops and plenary presentations addressing land health, regenerative agriculture, food systems and other relevant topics. The conference also offers apprentices an opportunity to network and seek out their next career steps.
An apprenticeship is designed to be a hands-on, working and learning experience, offering high-quality professional training and education. The greatest benefit to apprentices is the opportunity to become fully immersed in the daily labor and operation of their host operation. Other compensation includes:
Approximately 400 – 600 hours of direct mentorship, supplemental education in partnership with HMI, visits to other operations, and the annual Quivira Conference.
Apprentices receive monthly pay as employees of their host ranch or farm. The specific amount is determined by the host mentor, based on labor law and apprenticeship regulations specific to their state.
Mentors provide apprentice housing on or near the ranch or farm, separate from mentor housing. Housing is private and includes adequate heating and other utilities, as well as cooking and bathing facilities. Apprentices are expected to keep living spaces clean at all times. While there will usually be Internet access on host operations, it may or may not be directly accessible in the apprentice housing. Apprentices are expected to provide their own telephones and telephone service.
While apprentices can expect to have some food provided by their host operations, they must clarify details and expectations related to food with their mentors as soon as possible upon accepting the apprenticeship position. Some mentors will provide a variety of food as ranch or farm products, while others will provide shared meals or possibly additional food stipends. Apprentices may be expected to participate in food preparation and clean-up for shared meals.
Apprentices are covered by workers’ compensation during the periods of their apprenticeships spent on the host operation. While most work-related injuries are covered, those that occur during off hours are not. Mentors will discuss details with apprentices as soon as possible after they arrive at the host operation.
Apprentices will be given a minimum of one day off per week (or two consecutive days off every other week). The day off will be the same each week, and will begin by 4:30 the previous day when possible, and be free of any and all host ranch/farm-related obligations.
Apprentices generally may negotiate up to five days paid personal leave for their eight-month apprenticeship. Apprentices are encouraged to clarify details pertaining to days off and paid leave with their mentors as soon as possible upon beginning their apprenticeship.
To learn more about all the ins and outs of applying, interviewing, and being an apprentice with our program – watch the recording from a past “NAP 101” Informational Call.
Taylor Muglia and Alexis Bonogofsky of NAP will share their tips and tricks for landing the ag job you’re aiming for, whether that’s in our program or with another opportunity.